Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating, finding and supporting programs to improve the health and well-being of children and their families since 1974. Over the nearly 45 years of its existence, the organization has pursued this mission primarily through the Ronald McDonald Houses, Family Rooms, and Care Mobiles. The charity also provides grants to other nonprofits that focus on children. With these services, RMHC provides services to over five million families worldwide each year.
The most visible aspect of RMHC is the Ronald McDonald House (RMH). RMHs are located in 365 cities around the world. These houses support the parents and families of sick children as the children go through surgeries and treatments. The families stay at the House at little or no cost and, per the organization’s policy, families who cannot pay are never turned away. The primary goal of the RMH is to support families and allow them to focus on the health of their child.
Purposely located near hospitals, the RMH provides housing, meals, and activities to the families in need. Some houses have separate oncology wings for children battling cancer. The houses provide shuttle transportation to the health care facilities nearby. To make the House as much as a home as possible for families, there are often playrooms on site, as well as seasonal celebrations throughout the year. Most of the services are hosted by local volunteers who help support the House. The Houses also host fundraisers, from annual 5Ks to galas.
RMHC also provides Family Rooms and Care Mobiles to further assist and support the families. The Family Rooms are located in over 200 healthcare facilities. The services in these rooms vary by city but may include a kitchen, a shower, a television, laundry equipment, and an area for sleeping. The Family Rooms are a benefit to family members who need or want to stay at the hospital for their child. The 50 Care Mobiles exist to reach families where they are. The mobiles have examination rooms inside and provide well-child visits, dental hygiene services, health education information, and immunizations. Additionally, the mobiles offer social service and mental health referrals. With these Care Mobiles, RMHC is able to serve populations who otherwise might not have access to these services.
Ronald McDonald House is a well-known charity for all of the right reasons. Their focus on children and families of all walks of life sets them apart from other charities.